Life is about to get a lot more convenient for people living in Blenheim and passing through the tiny town on their way to the beach.
Parker’s Pit Stop is tentatively scheduled to open next Wednesday. Workers this week are busy putting the finishing touches on the store, which will offer a full kitchen in addition to Shell brand gasoline and diesel fuel and all the typical convenience store items that shoppers would otherwise have to travel miles to get.
It will operate from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. initially, but if the demand is there, a third shift will be added, making it a 24-hour store. Owner Tommy Parker said the inventory will also be tailored to customers once he sees what their needs are; he envisions carrying a small line of groceries as well as other items.
The store will employ about a dozen people.
Parker said it has been in the works for several years. The town of Blenheim owned the land at the corner of Highway 38 South and High Street, across from the post office and in front of the new school.
Officials hoped it could be used for some type of economic development project when Parker came along and took up the cause.
He said it is a way for him to “give back” to the town he loves, and he sees it as just the first step in revitalizing Blenheim.
He has also bought the former McArthur’s Trax property across Highway 38 South and plans to redevelop it in some way in the near future.
In fact, he envisions much more activity over the next 3-5 years, such as a string of retail stores drawing local shoppers and beach traffic alike.
“There will definitely be more development,” he said. “We’ve got big ideas for Blenheim. It’s just a matter of taking it a step at a time.”